Mirko Cro Cop is most well known for his devastating head kick knockouts. He currently holds several records for head kick knockouts including most knockouts by head kick in his career and fastest head kick knockout.
Cro Cop's most well known accomplishment in MMA occurred in 2006 when he competed in Pride's Open Weight Grand Prix and won with devastating victories over middleweight Wanderlai Silva and heavyweight Josh Barnett. Sadly however, since winning that title his career has been in a downward spiral.
Mirko after getting knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga
After Pride was absorbed by the UFC, Cro Cop signed a two year deal with the Ultimate Fighting Champioship in 2006. Cro Cop's first fight in the octagon was against veteran heavyweight Eddie Sanchez who Cro Cop put away via TKO in the very first round. However Cro Cop's career was suffered a huge sting when he faced monster heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70. In the final seconds of the first round, Gonzaga landed a devastating head kick, pulling a play out of Cro Cop's very own playbook to earn him a win and one of the most gruesome knockouts ever in UFC history. As Cro Cop fell to the ground unconscious his ankle rolled underneath his leg and broke. Cro Cop looked as if he had not recovered in his next fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 losing via unanimous decision.
After the Kongo fight, Cro Cop moved to Dream to try his luck in a different promotion. His first fight was against Tatsuya Mizuno who he defeated via TKO in the first round. Next he fought veteran heavyweight Alastair Overeem in a fight that was ruled a No Contest after Overeem landed several unintentional knees to the groin of Cro Cop. Mirko's last fight in Dream was against the 7 foot tall "Techno Goliath" Choi Hong-Man, who Mirko defeated via TKO by a leg kick to the back of the "Goliath's" knee which rendered him unable to continue. Even though Cro Cop's short stint in Dream was mildly successful, many people don't consider it too impressive since his two wins were against fighters of much lesser caliber.
Cro Cop made his return to the UFC in June of 2009 when he faced Mostopha Al-Turk at UFC 99. Mirko got the win via TKO but
Mirko in his fight against Mostapha Al-Turk
it was controversial since Cro Cop unintentionally poked Al-Turk in both eyes but the referee failed to catch it. Mirko's most recent fight was at UFC 103 against young stud Junior Dos Santos. Cro Cop pushed Dos Santos farther than he has ever been pushed before but after a brutal shot to his eye that rendered him blind, Cro Cop was forced to verbally submit. When asked what Mirko should do next, commentator Joe Rogan said "Mirko might want to start thinking about packing it up".
Mirko was set to fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 110 bur Rothwell was sidelined due to an illness. Mirko then fought Anthony Perosh. Cro Cop defeated Perosh via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round 2.
Cro Cop most recently fought fellow striker, Pat "HD" Barry, at UFC 115. Although knocked down twice in the first round, Mirko was able to rebound, win the second round and eventually submit Barry via rear naked choke in the third round.
Cro Cop always wears his signature shorts in fights that bear the Croatian flag
Mirko's signature shorts in Pride GP 2003 for PS2
- Cro Cop was born in Vikovci, Croatia
- Mirko was given the nickname "Cro Cop" because of his previous position in the Croatian parliament as a leader of an anti-terrorism group. Giving him the nickname "The Croatian Cop" which was shortened to "Cro Cop"
- Mirko is married and has one son